Effective K-12 Communication in Action


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  • I have no doubt that whatever issues you face when you head back to the office (or school site) today will deal with any one of these areas:(Suggestion: cite personal, timely examples faced by district/school, ex: upcoming budget decision by Board of Ed, problem with lack of participation at school events noted by your main contact, etc.)Meeting the needs of diverse learners at all levels, in and out of the classroom (cite example) Teacher accountability, professional development and evaluation (cite example)Maintaining safe and secure schools with limited resources (cite example)Increasing parental involvement as the cornerstone of student success (cite example)All leading to improved student achievement and graduation rates, despite the budget crisis…and despite the pressures of high stakes student testing and standards assessmentsIt can be overwhelming, but what has proven successful at districts across the country is to leverage technology to meet these challenges head on.
  • Blackboard Connect mass notification helps you connect with confidence and reach thousands of parents, faculty and staff in just a few clicks to improve safety, enrollment and retention as well as student engagement. Send a message from anywhere at anytime. Mobile app. With Blackboard Connect for iPhone, users can access the service anywhere using an iPhone, iPad or iPod TouchTemplates. Have pre-written content available and make the process faster and easier than ever before. To your entire community or a targeted group.Use our advanced geo-mapping to focus in on a geographic region, create specific groups or send an emergency message to your whole campus. And in just a few clicks you can deliver multi-modal messages to thousands of recipientsSMS, social media, voice…And the Connect Access Portal helps increase your reach and ensure accurate contact information.
  • (Begin with name of district, move through statistics, then point to their “trademark” program utilizing Blackboard Connect)
  • (Begin with name of district, move through statistics, then point to their “trademark” program utilizing Blackboard Connect)
  • (Begin with name of district, move through statistics, then point to their “trademark” program utilizing Blackboard Connect)
  • (Begin with name of district, move through statistics, then point to their “trademark” program utilizing Blackboard Connect)
  • Overview of Evolving K12 technology needs and how Connect fits into the bigger K12 picture.
  • Effective K-12 Communication in Action

    2. 2. 2 Presenters Blackboard Connect Jennie Breister K-12 Product Marketing Manager jennie.breister@blackboard.com Brandywine Heights Area School District Ross McGovern Director of Instructional Technology and Food Services ross@bhasd.org
    3. 3. 3 Key District Challenges Teacher accountability, prof. dev. & evaluation Meet needs of diverse learners, all levels, in and out of classroom Maintain safe and secure schools with limited resources Increase parental involvement as cornerstone of student success Improve student achievement & graduation rate (despite budget crisis, high stakes testing & standards assessments)
    4. 4. 4 • Enhancing student achievement with greater parental involvement. • Keeping your community safer and more secure. • Improving attendance and enforcing accountability. • Maintaining funding to better serve students, staff and families. • Strengthening support from the local community. Respond to challenges by:
    5. 5. 5 In just a few clicks Send a notification to your community And connect with confidence ! VIA SMS . Phone . Email . Social Media . RSS . TTY . CAP . Fax . Pager . Desktop Alerts REACH Everyone . Targeted Groups . Geo Regions USING Internet . Dial-in Card . Smartphone Improving District Communications Using targeted notification services
    6. 6. 6 RETURN ON INVESTMENT Recouped nine times the amount invested in Bb Connect with .75% improved attendance rate and $450K additional ADA funding $18,600 yearly savings in cafeteria balance collection costs (labor and mailing) Student achievement outcomes equivalent to $1000 in pupil spending, just by parents staying involved in studies & activities 70% reduction in unexcused absences by implementing daily attendance calls at all middle and high schools AlertNow K-12 district Federal Way Pubic Schools Cornell/UNH study La Mesa-Spring Valley SD Cut paper and printing costs by $2880 per year for every three mailings to 1000 families replaced by Bb Connect messages Bb Connect client survey
    7. 7. 7 7 Director of Instructional Technology and Food Services Former Transportation Director, Food Service Director Has continually maintained two or more departments over the course of his career at the district Ross McGovern
    8. 8. 8 • Located ten miles west of Allentown, PA • Three campuses, 1,750 K-12 students • 275 professional and support staff • Population 99% Anglo-Germanic • Rural area, mostly farmland, low industry
    9. 9. 9 Recent surveys show that 90% of our households have DSL or cable/internet connectivity. BHASD has been rolling out a paperless strategy for the past six years. E-mail and the district website account for more than 50% of our communications BHASD logo Leveraging technology to improve district wide communication:
    10. 10. 10 Key Challenge: Parent Involvement Challenge: How to effectively and efficiently notify parents of upcoming events to keep them informed and engaged in their child’s education. Communication solutions: Principals use Bb Connect to communicate weekly with parents concerning building-level events. District news delivered via monthly “Letter from the Superintendent” “The emails are convenient and I can refer back to them at anytime.” -- Parent
    11. 11. 11 Key Challenge: Attendance Challenge: Although a relatively small district, we were still wasting valuable support staff time making individual attendance calls. Communication solution: Each campus has an attendance secretary. The instructors load their attendance into our SIS which is then picked up by the secretary. Instead of two hours on the phone, the task is completed in as little as fifteen minutes. “With budget cuts and reduced staff resources, every hour we can save counts, freeing us up to be more available for our students & parents.” -- Principal, Brandywine Heights Elementary School
    12. 12. 12 Key Challenge: Cost controls Challenge: As with attendance, a support staff member spent hours making individual phone calls to chase pennies for over-due library books. Communication solution: The task can now be completed in as little as fifteen minutes each day by the library aide on each campus, saving thousands of dollars each year in staff hours district wide. “Time IS money.” - Ross McGovern
    13. 13. 13 Key Challenge: Safety & Security Challenge: A recent train crash that occurred right through the center of town (and in proximity to all three campuses) required immediate communication with families that students and staff were safe and secure. Communication solution: With Blackboard Connect in place, principals were able to simultaneously inform parents that their children were safe within ten minutes of the incident. “It could have been a complete disaster fielding calls from hundreds of worried parents. The system works, period.” -- Principal, Brandywine Heights High School
    14. 14. 14 Questions? Brandywine Heights Area School District Ross McGovern Director of Instructional Technology and Food Services ross@bhasd.org
    15. 15. 15 Our Latest Technology Smartphone App and Dial-In Card: Send messages from anywhere
    16. 16. Evolving K12 Technology Needs